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Short course, big impact

HerCanberra Team

If you could go back to school or University, what would you study?

Would you pick Drama over English? Or follow your passion for Chemistry above your parents’ preferred choice of Physics?

It’s a question many people ponder the further they get from their student days. Only two years out from my Bachelor degree, I found myself coveting the practical skills and unbridled creativity of the designers that roamed the FASHFEST catwalk this year. Many people seek out a second career after retirement, but a second career, or even an exploration of a neglected hobby or interest, shouldn’t be reserved for your golden years.

Short courses (some as short as three hours) can allow you to sharpen your skills or explore a passion without a long time commitment. CIT Solutions’ Short Courses range from everything from Organic Gardening to Italian for Travellers, Festive Calligraphy to Developing Your Emotional Intelligence. Some courses (such as Introduction to Cake Decorating) are one night per week commitments for six weeks while others like the business skill Confident Negotiations course take place over a whole day.

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HerCanberra were invited to experience a range of Short Courses offered across a variety of venues and here’s what we learned.

Easy Italian Cooking

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Road tester: Belinda, Events Coordinator

Three sessions of three hours (one class per week)

The fight was on when the opportunity came up to attend an Easy Italian Cooking class! Because seriously, who doesn’t want to go along and learn how to make homemade Gnocchi with Sage & Parmesan Butter, Tiramisu and Biscotti? Beatrice and I fought hard so we asked Amanda at CIT Solutions if we could attend together. The answer was ‘yes’, yay!

We joined the course in the last of it’s three weeks. Even though we hadn’t attended the previous classes, our teacher Jenny Foley was fantastic with getting us up to speed with how it all rolls.

We began the class with a bit of a chat about the menu and Jenny ran through some techniques that we would be using. We headed off to our kitchen stations to get started and in that moment, I couldn’t help but feel like we were on an episode of MasterChef!

A three-course meal meant that we had to have different elements of each dish going at the one time. Eeeek, the pressure! Jenny was great, guiding us throughout the night on our time management and providing tips along the way to get the best result for our dishes.

It certainly was a full on three hours but the end result was amazing. We dished up our gnocchi and drowned it in the sage & parmesan butter and sat down with the other participants and chatted about how we went. The food quantity for each participant was very generous. Time constraints meant we had to ‘take away’ our Tiramisu and Biscotti but that was cool because then we could share our sweets with the rest of the (jealous) team!

Such a fun experience and we definitely came away with some new culinary skills in Italian cooking!

Buying Your First Home

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Road tester: Laura, Unveiled Editor and Senior Journalist

One session of three hours

Buying your own home can be an overwhelming experience. There are banks, lawyers and real estate agents to deal with, and that’s all before the to-ing and fro-ing with the owners over the price.

This course, with tutor and experienced real estate agent Jess Smith, simplified the buying process, covering everything from dealing with banks and financial institutions, unlocking the first home buyers grant, understanding building reports/stamp duty concessions and selecting a home that is right for you.

Jess took the “overwhelm” out of the process with her easy to follow guidance, and she had some fantastic insider tips for getting in first in Canberra’s competitive market. It all made me super keen to get out to the next auction!

Make Your Own Kokedama

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Road tester: Beatrice, Online Editor

One session of three hours

I will admit, I had to Google what exactly a ‘Kokedama’ was before I signed up for CIT Solutions’ Make Your Own Kokedama short course.

Luckily, that was the first thing expert Annette Proescholdt explained to us as our cosy group of 12 sat down on a rainy Saturday at CIT’s Bruce campus.

A Kokedama is a decorative Japanese moss ball and it turns out I’ve been seeing them around for quite a while. Some of HerCanberra’s favourite hot spots like the Handmade Markets, Timber & Tailor and Meet, Gather, Collect all sell or display Kokedamas as they’re a unique way of including greenery indoors.

Annette guided the group through the process of creating two unique Kokedamas, the first encasing a succulent stem and the other built around a small plant. My group was a friendly mixture of aspiring florists, people looking to make gifts, mums and daughters and gardening enthusiasts and because creating a Kokedama means getting your hands dirty (literally) we all had a wonderful time “mindfully creating something”, as Annette put it.

My baby Kokedamas now sit proudly on my mum’s kitchen table and I know exactly what I’m going to be making everyone for Christmas!

While we aren’t hanging out for a career change, the team found that it didn’t matter when it came to enjoying a short course.

Two participants in my Kokedama course are hoping to stock Kokedamas in the florist they’re opening this year, so the skills they learned will actively go towards building and funding their livelihood, while the skills I learned in Easy Italian Cooking will simply allow me to cook more delicious food for those I care about.

You don’t need to be living Eat, Pray, Love to enjoy self-improvement or seeking a career change to enjoy learning about new things.

So if you’re seeking a little shake up in your day-to-day or just want to learn about something you’ve always been interested in, what are you waiting for?

Explore the entire range of CIT Solutions’ Short Courses here or CIT Solutions’ Facebook page here.

The HerCanberra team participated in their respective CIT Solutions’ Short Courses courtesy of CIT Solutions, however, their opinions remain their own. This is a sponsored article. For more information about sponsored articles, click here.

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